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Inflation Continues to Hinder Earning Power of Professors [Survey]

Over the past year, the salaries of full-time faculty members at U.S. colleges and universities have barely budged when adjusted for inflation, a new survey has found.

According to the 2018-19 Faculty Compensation Survey, the salaries for full-time faculty members saw a two percent raise when compared to the preceding year. However, with prices in the economy growing by 1.9 percent during the year, these salary raises appear meek.

The survey, conducted by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), noted that the earning power of professors over the last three years has been eroded by inflation.

Nearly 380,000 faculty members from more than 950 colleges and universities across the country, including community colleges and small liberal arts colleges participated in the survey.

The survey found that a faculty member’s salary largely depends on their faculty rank and the type of institution they work for. Professors at private-independent doctoral universities receive nearly $196,000 on average, while an assistant professor at a religiously-affiliated college earns $61,000 on average.

The survey also found that the increase in overall average full-time salaries was higher at private colleges and universities in comparison to public institutions.

College presidents continue to enjoy some of the largest salaries, particularly at private-independent doctoral universities and even at public community colleges.

“Salaries for college and university presidents continue to outpace those for faculty, with presidents paid three to four times the salary of even the most senior faculty members at their institutions, on average,” the survey report states.

Furthermore, the survey pointed highlighted an increasing pay gap in the salaries given to female and male full-time faculty members. Over the last academic year, female faculty were paid 81.6 percent of the salaries of males. This has primarily been attributed to an unequal distribution of employment between men and women in terms of institution type and faculty rank.

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